Andrew McCutchen (OF,PIT)
Andrew McCutchen signed a 6 year deal that will pay him $51,500,000. As a general rule I tend to value players who are in a contract year a bit higher and those who just got paid a bit lower. A lot of this thinking is due to my concern that players who want to get paid will continue to work hard, and those who have just gotten paid may slack off. McCutchen, by all accounts, isn’t the type of player who will stop working just because he got paid. I think if the contract has any impact, it will allow him to not worry about the business side and just enjoy playing the game. While I still expect McCutchen to hit around .280 I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a 25/25 guy this season. With that kind if versatility McCutchen is a guy I would take a chance on if I were drafting in the late second round of a 12 team league.
Carlos Guillen (3B, SEA)
After signing a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners, Guillen suddenly announced his retirement after acknowledging that his body would not allow him to continue his career. Chone Figgins is slated to get the majority of the time at the hot corner, but with the injury to Franklin Gutierrez, Figgins may see some time early in the year in the outfield. With Guillen now out of the picture there should be some playing time for Kyle Seager or Luis Rodriguez. Neither of these guys have any real fantasy value at the moment, but Seager could be a player to watch. If he can continue to show the improvement as he’s doing now in Spring, he could get additional playing time.
Shaun Marcum (SP, MIL)
Marcum was shut down with soreness in his pitching shoulder. While at the moment he still has a chance to be ready by opening day, shoulder injuries are pretty scary when it comes to pitchers. This news has Marcum dropping a couple of rounds for me due to fear of the injury recurring during the season.
Corey Hart (OF, MIL)
Hart is a likely candidate to begin the season on the DL after having knee surgery to repair a meniscus tear. He will be shut down for three weeks at minimum. Hart became a Fantasy star when he had consecutive 20/20 seasons from 2007-2008. Since then his stolen bases have decreased from 23 in 2008 to 11 in 2009 and only 7 in each of the last two seasons. It’s hard to expect him to buck the trend following a knee surgery. Before Spring I had him ranked as my 25th outfielder but with his recent health problems I dropped him into Nick Swisher range who I had at 10 spots lower.
Evan Longoria (3B, TB)
Longoria was hit in the hand on Thursday, but the injury doesn’t seem to be serious. He told reporters that if it had occurred during the regular season he would already be back on the field. Longoria has always been a player who has oozed with talent, but has not quite produced at the first round level. He will continue to be taken late in first rounds in the majority of leagues due to his talent, and the recent drop-off of production around the league at third base.
Michael Pineda (SP, NYY)
While Pineda threw two scoreless innings in his Spring debut for the Yankees, there was a bit of concern about his performance. After averaging almost 95 mph with his fastball last season, he was sitting between 88-91 on the gun in his start on Monday. Hopefully he builds his arm strength up over the next few weeks, but if he is unable to it is hard to project him having a season as successful as his rookie year. Especially moving to the offensively loaded AL East.
Brett Cecil (SP, TOR)
After a very promising first 2 seasons, Cecil struggled mightily in 2011. In an effort to return to the form that found him going 22-11 in his first 2 seasons, Cecil dropped 38 pounds in the offseason. While being thinner doesn’t always mean being better as a pitcher (see Sabathia and Wells), the dedication Cecil has showed is definitely promising. If he can be the pitcher that he was two seasons ago, Cecil could be a fantasy sleeper, as he is a guy who won’t be drafted until late in drafts, if at all.
Written by Ilyn Yeh exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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